Palming is a calming exercise that helps you refocus your mind. It is a wonderful technique to teach children as it is something they can easily do at their desks.
Start by rubbing your palms together as fast as you can for at least 15 seconds to build up friction and warmth. Now place your palms on your closed eyes and take a deep breath. Keep your palms on your eyes for as long as you like. You can use this time to envision a calming place or a goal being achieved.
What do you do to help you stay calm and focus your mind? When would palming be useful in your day?
Non Violent Communication (NVC) is a way to communicating that helps you “resolve conflicts with more ease, learn to ask for what you want without using demands, begin to hear the true needs of others with less effort, and strengthen your personal and professional relationships.” (http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/aboutnvc/aboutnvc.htm)
This style of communicating can have a large impact on schools. The compassionate educator series shares resources from NVC that can be used in educational settings as well as life in general.
This week we are thinking about how to build feelings vocabulary. A wide-ranging feelings vocabulary provides deeper self-connection and an enhanced ability to express yourself to others. These skills can strengthen compassion in any learning environment. Help your students enhance their feelings vocabulary.
With your students, make a list of feeling words, and try adding a new word a day for as many days as you can. Put your feelings vocabulary in a prominent place in your classroom. Each time students feel an emotion that isn’t on the list, invite them to express it by saying it aloud or writing it on the board.
Share what you think! What is important about having a large feelings vocabulary? How do you build feelings vocabulary in your life?
Summer is here and school is out! Summertime often allows us the opportunity to spend more time with our children and The Center for Nonviolent Communication provides some incredible parenting tips that we believe you will find useful! Here is the first part in our summer series:
“Is your intention to connect or to correct? Parents who can define their parenting purpose or intention can help meet children’s vital needs, including stability, security, safety and guidance.
What is your purpose or intention? To correct and manage your children or to connect with and enjoy them?
For one week, count the number of times in a day you correct your child, and then count the number of times you connect. Which number is greater? What might this information tell you?”
~The Center for Nonviolent Communication
One way to connect with your child is by making something special with them. Since Father’s Day is coming up, here is a great way to bond with your child and be prepared for this Sunday!
Here are the instructions for this Father’s Day idea and many more you can do with your children!
Crafts with your Kids!
Making time for family dinners is another way to connect with your children. This Emotional Life, a series developed to improve our social well-being and development provides many resources as well as this blog with more suggestions on 10 Tips to Connect with Your Child.
Last week Manny Scott, one of the original Freedom Writers came to speak to schools in AISD. His powerful message began with, ” I was once considered unreachable.” Manny spoke of his experiences in life and at schools and the impact it had on his self-esteem. Just a freshman in high school, he began to say, “People like me, we ain’t supposed to make it!” Manny asks us, “How do you reach that kid?”
Manny Scott-Original Freedom Writer
“When your students come through the door, do you see them as whole human beings with their own thoughts, feelings, needs, talents, interests and gifts to share? Or do you see them as lazy, disruptive, wild, demanding and rebellious?
How do they feel about themselves?
How you think about your students at the beginning of each day and throughout the year often communicates what you believe about them far louder than your words.
Quickly write down ten descriptive words or phrases that come to mind when you think of your students. Might the way you think about them be affecting the way they are acting?”
-The Center for Nonviolent Communication
Scientific American magazine recently published an article about how stereotypes can hinder academic performance….Read about it here!
How to Expel Hurtful Stereotypes from Classrooms across the Country
And another recommended read on stereotype threat and how it can influence behavior and performance…….
On behalf of the AISD Social and Emotional Learning Department we would like to extend our greatest appreciation and thanks for your amazing dedication to our students! You are our gift!
“More than anything else, human beings want to contribute to life — to share our gifts.
Our gifts vary widely; everyone has unique contributions to make. Your ability to recognize student gifts and to receive them allows every student to meet his/her needs for belonging and contribution.
Make a list of all the students in your class (especially those you are having trouble making a connection with) and write down their gifts as you see them. Add to this list on a regular basis.”
-The Center for Nonviolent Communication
John Cotton Dana once said, “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” The Center for Nonviolent Communication has published tips for creating positive environments for our students and we decided to feature them on our blog….they are just that good!
Here is our first featured tip on listening!
“Listening carefully to students shows that we value what they say and we take them seriously. Listening meets students’ needs for understanding, connection and trust. If you could make only one change in a classroom, listening more is probably the most important one to make. On any given day, make a point of noticing how much you talk and how much you listen. What are the percentages?”
Stay tuned for more Compassionate Educator tips. The website for The Center for Nonviolent Communication provides a wealth of information and you can also subscribe to receive the tips via email for free!
The book below features tools on how to create a compassionate classroom. One of the chapters is dedicated to changing our language from naming and blaming to giving and receiving. Click on the picture to purchase this fantastic resource!